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BWW Review: SEASONS IN BLAK BOX at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Seasons In Blak Box is a unique storytelling experience that will leave you better informed, appreciative and more fascinated about the land on which we live.

Broadwayworld Melbourne acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future.

BWW Review: SEASONS IN BLAK BOX at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Image: Teresa Tan

Seasons In Blak Box, presented by Urban Theatre Projects, in partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, as part of YIRRAMBOI Festival and RISING Festival, is a remarkable 50-minute storytelling experience of Australia's landscape and seasons, as recounted by Australia's First Peoples. Over 60,000 years Indigenous Australians have developed a strong connection to the land and therefore view the seasons differently than the four seasons concept which came to Australia with British invasion and colonization.

Seasons In Blak Box explores Indigenous Australians lived experience and knowledge of the changing landscape. On night-time arrival at the Royal Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre, audience members are first offered a cup of tea before then being escorted to the award-winning intimate sound pavilion designed by architect Kevin O'Brien. Upon taking a seat on a chair lining the oval inside circumference of the 'Blak Box', carpeted by natural grass, audience members get to experience the time-honoured practice of deep listening storytelling.

Curator of Seasons In Blak Box, Aboriginal broadcaster and journalist Daniel Browning states how "A season is as much about the lapse or passage of time as weather events, climatic variation and cycles of flowering and decay. However intense or frightening or beautiful, a season passes and recurs. There are no permanent states, just invariable change. In this sound work - which draws upon the Kulin seasonal calendar - the key artists evoke a different way of knowing their Country and its extraordinary range of physical features, biodiverse habitats, ecosystems and climates. It is a way of knowing - a knowledge system - informed by the Ancestors."

Browning's exploration of the Kulin seasonal calendar is told through the anecdotes and stories of six First Peoples women artists and elders -N'arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM, Isobel Morphy-Walsh, Aunty Joy Murphy AO, Justice Nelson, Fay Stewart-Muir and Mandy Nicholson. A subtly shifting light design by Karen Norris and music composed by James Henry assist in the story-telling process.

Seasons In Blak Box is a unique storytelling experience that will leave you better informed, appreciative and more fascinated about the land on which we live. Seasons In Blak Box, is on until 5th June. For more information and to book tickets please visit rising.melbourne/festival-program/seasons-in-blak-box.


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